Due to unprecedented global travel restrictions and border closures, Singapore Tourism saw a decline in both visitor arrivals and tourism receipts in 2020. Visitor arrivals (VA) fell by 85.7 percent in 2020 to reach 2.7 million visitors (nearly all from the first 2 months of 2020). Tourism receipts (TR) declined by 78.4 percent to S$4.4 billion in the first 3 quarters of 2020.
Despite enduring its toughest year on record, Singapore’s tourism sector has taken strides to reimagine its offerings and experiences, while supporting nationwide efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism-related companies have benefited from various government support measures to transform their products and offerings while building new capabilities to position themselves for future growth opportunities.
Mr. Keith Tan, Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said: “Singapore’s tourism sector has had to fight for survival in 2020. Our tourism businesses have displayed immense resilience and adaptability throughout this difficult period, reinventing their business models and leveraging technology to find solutions in a COVID-19 world. I am also grateful for their commitment to keep Singaporeans safe and well.
“STB remains confident in Singapore’s position as one of the world’s safest and most attractive leisure and business destination[s] and the long-term prospects of Singapore’s tourism sector. While mass international travel is unlikely to resume in a major way in 2021, STB will continue standing together with our industry partners to prepare for recovery and to start building a better and more sustainable future for tourism.”
Even during this difficult year, tourism businesses played a key role in Singapore’s battle against COVID-19. Hotels offered their properties for various accommodation purposes, including Government Quarantine Facilities, Swab Isolation Facilities. and Stay-Home Notice Dedicated Facilities (SDFs). For example, more than 70 hotels have served as SDFs at various points since March 2020. As of December 31, 2020, SDFs have accommodated more than 80,000 persons on Stay-Home Notice, with the support of over 2,300 frontline workers in the hotels industry.
The Integrated Resorts also contributed in other ways. More than 2,000 Resorts World Sentosa staff served at the Community Care Facility at Singapore EXPO and MAX Atria, as well as the Big Box warehouse mall. They managed operations, provided meals, and packed care kits. Marina Bay Sands donated around 15,000 kg of food to The Food Bank and packed 15,000 care kits for migrant workers and low-income families affected by the pandemic.